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Old 08-03-09, 10:29 AM   #1
beetz12
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cyclist seriously hurt after running stop sign

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publics...cle1024169.ece

SAFETY HARBOR A bicyclist was seriously injured when he crossed into the path of a motorist and was hit Sunday afternoon, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Steven Merrill, 39, of 864 Harbor Hills Drive, was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with injuries that appeared to be life-threatening.

Merrill was eastbound on his bicycle on Third Street North around 4 p.m. when he went through a stop sign and was hit by 69-year-old Frank Leko, who driving his 1999 Mercedes Benz northbound on 10th Avenue North, deputies said.

Merrill was ejected from his bicycle and struck his head on the pavement. He was not wearing a helmet.

Leko, also of Safety Harbor, had the right of way and has not been charged in the accident. Alcohol and speed were not factors in the crash, deputies said.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:42 AM   #2
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Moral of the story: only blow through stop signs when you know it's safe to do so.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:52 AM   #3
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Use some logic here:

1. No external witnesses noted,
2. Only persons who can provide explanations of the event are the motorist and the cyclist,
3. Cyclist was airlifted from the scene with injuries that likely prevented him from giving a statement.

Any reports of "what happened" are therefore suspect.

-Kurt
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Old 08-03-09, 12:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Use some logic here:

1. No external witnesses noted,
2. Only persons who can provide explanations of the event are the motorist and the cyclist,
3. Cyclist was airlifted from the scene with injuries that likely prevented him from giving a statement.

Any reports of "what happened" are therefore suspect.

-Kurt
You're right. The cyclist could have been drunk and riding a fixie with no brakes...we really don't know.

Seriously though, I hope the guy recovers, regardless of who was at fault. That being said, I also hope that if he (the cyclist) is found to be at fault that he is fined and made to pay for any damage done to the other vehicle.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:27 PM   #5
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Merrill was ejected from his bicycle and struck his head on the pavement.
he would be fine if he had been wearing a helmet.

Last edited by beetz12; 08-03-09 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:54 PM   #6
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So this is what happens in "Safety Harbor"?

Irrespective of fault, best wishes to the cyclist for a full and speedy recovery.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:55 PM   #7
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Moral of the story: only blow through stop signs when you know it's safe to do so.
I will bet you this rider 'knew' it was safe--right up until the time he was hit.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:55 PM   #8
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I will bet you this rider 'knew' it was safe--right up until the time he was hit.
A&S clairvoyance?
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Old 08-03-09, 08:48 PM   #9
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Why no mention of witnesses? Sloppy reporting, or did the cops take the drivers word for what happened?
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Old 08-03-09, 09:02 PM   #10
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Why no mention of witnesses? Sloppy reporting, or did the cops take the drivers word for what happened?
Of course. Since when have you heard of a fair and balanced situation wherein the cyclist's case is argued for as well in an article? Hardly - and those that do are in the distinct minority.

It is easier for a journalist to push out a two-bit article written with a slant that the wide public of motorists (jerks and otherwise) can understand, then presenting it from the cyclist's point of view, or for that matter, from both points of view with no bias.

Frankly, the sloppy, one-sided reporting of these incidents usually ticks me off more then the accident itself.

-Kurt
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Old 08-03-09, 09:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Use some logic here:

1. No external witnesses noted,
2. Only persons who can provide explanations of the event are the motorist and the cyclist,
3. Cyclist was airlifted from the scene with injuries that likely prevented him from giving a statement.

Any reports of "what happened" are therefore suspect.

-Kurt
Possibly, although the fact that the biker had a stop sign on his street while the driver did not would tend to support the driver's story. There may have been no witnesses; it doesn't look like a busy intersection.

(The above info courtesy of google street view: http://tinyurl.com/nkznoy
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Old 08-03-09, 09:19 PM   #12
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cuda, you need to pull your horns in -- the cyclist isn't always right.

No helmet -- personal choice, in my opinion a dumb one; also, as noted, the cyclist had the stop sign. I hate stopping my roll as much as anybody, but i'll DO it to save my 'ace' from being gutter salad.

At fault is secondary here, anyway, since fault won't change the guy's condition....
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Old 08-03-09, 10:26 PM   #13
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No helmet -- personal choice, in my opinion a dumb one; also, as noted, the cyclist had the stop sign. I hate stopping my roll as much as anybody, but i'll DO it to save my 'ace' from being gutter salad.
The story does not specify whether that was a two-way stop or a four-way stop. If it's the latter, we only have the driver's word for who had the right-of-way at the time...
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Old 08-03-09, 11:10 PM   #14
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A&S clairvoyance?
Noooo, we can be sure that if the guy knew he was going to be hit, he would not have gone through, hence we can assume he did not know he was going to be hit, therefore it is likely he 'knew' he wouldn't get hit.
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Old 08-04-09, 05:43 AM   #15
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The story does not specify whether that was a two-way stop or a four-way stop. If it's the latter, we only have the driver's word for who had the right-of-way at the time...
If the Google Street view link above does indeed show the intersection in question, the cyclist had a stop sign, the vehicle did not. It looks like the cause of this one could indeed be the cyclist.

Having said that, I, of course, wish him a good recovery.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:40 AM   #16
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The story does not specify whether that was a two-way stop or a four-way stop. If it's the latter, we only have the driver's word for who had the right-of-way at the time...
Sometimes the evidence speaks for itself. The cyclist was coming from a street which had a STOP sign posted at the intersection. Assuming it wasn't a 4-way stop, the motorist on the crossing street had the right of way. Had the cyclist STOPPED and YIELDED as required by law, there would not have been a collision.

If you make a habit of running red lights and stop signs, you're gonna hit hit. Someday, the statistics will catch up with you.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:41 AM   #17
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If you make a habit of running red lights and stop signs, you're gonna hit hit. Someday, the statistics will catch up with you.
Which statistics are those?
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Old 08-04-09, 09:06 AM   #18
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Which statistics are those?
The law of averages. Do you feel lucky today?
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Old 08-04-09, 09:18 AM   #19
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The law of averages. Do you feel lucky today?
Luck has nothing to do with it (of course).
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Old 08-04-09, 09:29 AM   #20
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Would you prefer "Law of Averages" and probability?

Let's look at a hypothetical intersection. Let's imagine that an imaginary two way stop intersection that gets 2-3 cars per minute. We'll average it to 2.5. Let's say that the car is in the "point of no return" for 1.5 seconds. The "point of no return" will be defined as the point where they will not be able to do anything to avoid hitting the cyclist. This means that for every minute, there are 3.75 seconds that are not safe for the cyclist to blow through the stop sign. 56.25 seconds of every minute are completely safe. That gives the cyclist a 6.25% chance of getting hit at this intersection each time he blows through the stop sign, with a 93.75% chance of making it through safely.

So, if we calculate the chance of getting hit in 10 crossings: 0.9375 ^ 10 = 0.5244604..., or a 52.446% chance of not being hit.

20 crossings = 27.506% chance of not being hit.
30 crossings = 14.426% chance of not being hit.
40 crossings = 7.566% chance of not being hit.
50 crossings = 3.968% chance of not being hit.
.
.
.
.
100 crossings = 0.157% chance of not being hit.

And so on, and so forth. It, of course, never reaches a 100% chance of being hit, but you're already doing roughly a coin flip by 10 crossings.

NOTE: This assumes that the cyclist blowing through the stop sign is going through it no matter what, with no regard for his safety. I would hope an actual cyclist would show some signs of self preservation. This is only an illustration of how easy probability can catch up with you, even when the odds per encounter are lower.

And it seems some people mentioned the law of averages in posts while I was typing this, but this has some (hypothetical) probability calculations in it, so I'll post it anyway.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:41 AM   #21
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From my experience, sometimes even when you look both ways, a car may still suddenly appear last minute. I feel that is exactly what happened to the cyclist.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:47 AM   #22
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So if your chances are 0.157% of not being hit that means the intersection is filled with cars 100 - 0.157 = 99.843% of the time or 59.9 seconds out of a minute?

All crossings are independent.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:51 AM   #23
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Possibly, although the fact that the biker had a stop sign on his street while the driver did not would tend to support the driver's story.
I am not denying that. My point is that there isn't any room for speculation in favor of the motorist until the other side has been heard.

For instance - consider this hypothetical scenario: The cyclist might have stopped at the sign, checked for traffic, and proceeded to cross the intersection; at which point, said vehicle could have come speeding down the road at 65mph from a blind spot (and potentially inaudible until the last minute due to various sound deflections), and run the cyclist - in the process of crossing the intersection - down.

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Old 08-04-09, 09:51 AM   #24
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Which statistics are those?
The ones maintained by Mr. Darwin?
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Old 08-04-09, 10:00 AM   #25
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Yes, all crossings are independent, as stated in the post. However, individual probability can be used to calculate the chance of an event happening over an extended number of happenings. They are just that, measurement of chance.

Another example: if I think of a number between 1 and 10 and have someone guess the number I'm thinking of, they have a 10% chance of guessing the correct number. If we do it again, they still have a 10% chance of guessing on that chance, so on and so forth out to 5 chances (each with a 10% chance). However, if we look at the group of 5, each with it's own chance of 10%, they have a probability of not guessing the correct number at least once of 59.05% (0.90 ^ 5). If we extend it to 10 times, they probability that they won't guess the correct number is 34.87%. The probability that they will not guess the correct number decreases with each chance, and approaches 0%, though it never reaches 0%.

The numbers are just that, a measure of mathematical probability.
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